Thursday, 31 January 2008
I watched Lindsay Hilsum interview William Ruto the chief negotiator for ODM on Channel Four News tonight.
These were her questions to Honourable William Ruto.
1.What is your reaction to the killing of David Too?
The margin in parliament is 3. We already have lost 2 MPS. It cannot escape our thinking that this could be something orchestrated so that our margins in parliament are watered down, and the other side can have an advantage over us.
2. Despite the killing today are you continuing with the negotiations?
We intend to get a political settlement of the crisis in our country. We will pursue peaceful means and that is why we will stay engaged in the negotiations.
3. What is your bottom line, are you still demanding a rerun of the election?
Our bottom line is that the will of the people of Kenya must be respected.
4. Does this mean a new election?
It means that everything that the will of the people of Kenya means. It is our position that it must be known to the people of Kenya who won the last general election.
5. It is too late for that, Kofi Annan is saying there is too much post election violence, post election conflict. There has to be compromise and that means compromise by you as well.
There has to be compromise and that is why we are sitting on the negotiating table. We wouldn't be sitting on the negotiating table otherwise.
6. Many people are saying you are one of the instigators of the violence. You whipped up the youth in your area?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Violence that erupted in the country was not violence in Eldoret alone. It was violence across the country. If it was planned at all, it must have been planned by the people who planned to manipulate the results of the election; and therefore planned the violence to cover up the theft of the general election. The violence is spiralling out of control. In fact if we are not careful in a matter of days, this country could be headed in the route of a civil war. Therefore it is really critical that leaders get ready to make tough choices and serious sacrifices so that we can get this country off this road; and get it onto the path of peace and security.
The obituary of Simiyu Barasa written by himself.
He illustrates how some of our lives have changed as a result of this crisis.
I am aware of my tribe in a way that I was not before.
I am angry, and sad that the freedom that I felt in Kenya before December 30th has been taken away from me.
Living in the diaspora and encountering racism, having to always watch my back because of the colour of our skin, is stressful. Going home was always different, and therapeutic for me.
It has been a relief going to Kenya, and being able to walk around freely, in different parts of the country.
Now that is not the case. I am very clear that there will be certain parts of Kenya that I will not travel to, when I go home this year, as I do not want to be butchered.
Related article: The threat of talking in your mother tongue.
The idea of Kenya belonging to all Kenyans and Kenyans having the right to live where they like is dead in the water. For some of the victims of the violence in the Rift Valley, this is the second or third time they have lost everything. Many have vowed never to come back. The message being telegraphed by the violence is that the only really safe place to put down any roots is among your own kind. Rift Valley for the Kalenjins, Central Province for the Kikuyus, and so on.
The Rift Valley is the largest of Kenya's eight provinces and, bar Nairobi, the most populous and ethnically diverse. People from all over the country have flocked to its urban areas and rural plantations. So in addition to the indigenous Kalenjin, there are large numbers of Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kisii and others. Nothing wrong with that. Kenya, we were told over and over, was for all Kenyans. We were free to go where we wanted, live where we wanted.
For years this rhetoric concealed abiding anger surrounding land and its distribution: who had it, who didn't, why some had so little and others so much, how the land-rich had come to own what they did. But the lid was mostly kept on this disaffection until, in 1992, with the real possibility of losing power, Arap Moi cynically gave that anger a murderous outlet. Non-Kalenjin, we were told, were only visitors in the Rift Valley. They were welcome to stay as long as they toed the line, which meant voting for the right candidates.
Will any "outsiders" ever again stake their livelihoods on the existence of a country called Kenya and buy land in the Rift - or anywhere outside their districts of origin? Will we all retreat to the safety of our homogenous ethnic enclaves? Will we ever again be able to look each other in the eyes, to suppress the knowledge of the things we have done and are capable of doing to each other? And if not, what kind of country will we become?
The national memory is very long, and injuries are not easily forgotten or forgiven. The Rift is evidence of that. But now we are sowing a bitter wind of grievance, and unless we handle this cataclysm judiciously and with more courage and honesty than we have ever before mustered, we will certainly reap the whirlwind. National memory is long indeed. Let us never forget that our so-called leaders sold us all down the river.
Quotes from a bitter wind of grievance by Andia Kisia
African leaders at the summit in Ethiopia have been told they must get involved with the crisis in Kenya.
Human Rights watch have urged the African Union to call for an independent enquiry into election fraud, and post-election violence.
Some of the faces that hold the key to Kenya's future.
Here are some quotes from political figures in and outside Kenya on the political violence.
More mayhem than mediation
Kibaki is a political rapist.
I feel nervous about this,as it feels like the turn of events will not calm things down.
An opposition MP has been shot and killed by a police officer in Kenya's Rift Valley - the second to be killed this week in violence sweeping the country.
David Too was shot by the officer at a road block as he was travelling from Nairobi to the city of Eldoret by car.
Quotes from Kenyan MP shot by Rift police by the Press Association.
NAIROBI (AFP) — A Kenyan opposition MP was shot dead by a policeman on Thursday, raising fears of a fresh surge in post-election violence as negotiators for the country's feuding leaders met for the first time.
The incident followed the killing of another opposition lawmaker on Tuesday which sparked violent unrest in flashpoint western regions and Nairobi slums.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who insists President Mwai Kibaki cheated him of victory in December's presidential elections, said the killings were "part of a plot" to reduce his Orange Democratic Movement's (ODM) majority in parliament.
The lawmaker killed Thursday was identified as David Kiumtai Too. A police commander said he was killed by a traffic policeman in a suburb of Eldoret in western Kenya, but added that the motive did not appear political.
"He was with a girl who is a police officer. He was shot by another policeman believed to be her boyfriend," the commander said.
Quotes from Second lawmaker killed amid Kenya unrest.
I am hoping that it is a love triangle, and not an assasination.
Two ODM MPs dead in the space of a few days, is too much.
The situation is endless. Every single day, we are faced with something else that could take things to another level.
Nimechoka(I am tired).
May your soul rest in peace David Too, and my prayers and thoughts are with your family.
Talks delayed after Kenyan MP shot dead.
But ODM and the family of the slain officer last night took offence with the attempt to pass off the crime as a love triangle gone sour, even as it emerged that the killer policeman was married with children.
ODM said it was concerned by losing two MPs in 36 hours, and termed yesterday’s killing a political assassination.
Dismissing the love triangle theory, Pentagon member, Mr William Ruto, said the MP was related to the slain policewoman.
"For the Police Commissioner to conclude the cause of death of the MP without conducting investigations is an insult to the intelligence of Kenyans," Ruto said while receiving the body of the MP at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, on Thursday night.
He was accompanied by Deputy Speaker, Mr Farah Maalim, and fellow Pentagon members, Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Joe Nyagah, Ms Jebii Kilimo and several party MPs.
And the elder brother of the slain policewoman, Mr David Kirui, said: "I have known the late MP as a close friend to late Geoffrey Ng’etich, the husband of my
sister, and during his burial, the legislator was the master of ceremonies."
ODM shock as second MP killed.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
I hope that a solution can be found that will address the underlying issues.Facilitating the meeting between these two, has to be challenging job.
Odinga has been slammed by Monica Juma of the African Policy Institute for failing to use the law.
Kenyan Jurist has an excellent post on why this position ignores the reality of the matter. I share his view.
Kenya police have now been ordered to shoot to kill looters,arsonists, people blocking roads or carrying weapons in order to stop the violence.
I hope that their approach is evenhanded and that they follow common orders.
The Australian government is staying neutral on Kenya at the moment.
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Jon Snow asked Maina Kiai whether he thought the police approach was evenhanded in this crisis.
Maina's response was that the police were not evenhanded, and do not follow common orders. He pointed out that
- In Kisumu police fire at the crowds, and we know they used live bullets in most cases.
- In Eldoret the police were firing in the air, when civilians were burned.
- However in Naivasha we witness the police negotiating with civilians.
Maina Kiai was then asked by Jon Snow whether he thought we were heading towards a Rwanda scenario. Maina felt that this was not an appropriate comparison, however he felt that there were several routes which Kenya could go down
- Zimbabwe style, where the state dominates, and we live in fear under a dictator.
- Ivory coast style, where the country is broken up, and we have internecine wars.
The news report implied that if the army were to take over in Kenya, that it would be fractured; as there would be local armed groups with local sympathies.
What route do you think Kenya will go down?
My prayers for the souls of all these people who died yesterday, and all their families.
Related article: Factbox developments in Kenya crisis.
Related article: Paralysis as roads cut off in fresh violence
The police are treating it as a murder, and have not ruled out political motives. Riots broke out in Nairobi, and sources on the ground say parts of Ngong Road, are no go areas today.
I find it outrageous that when mourners went to Mugabe Were's house to pay their condolences, they were teargased, at his house.
It is normal in Kenya for people to pay their condolences, and wail, why do the security forces teargas mourners who are unarmed?
This is disrespectful and not right, but then at this moment and time, nothing is right in Kenya.What upsets me is the people who should know right from wrong, do not.
Chris at Kumekucha wonders whether there is any link between Mp Mugabe Were's killing and the recent reshuffle in the Kenya police.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mugabe Were's family and all the people in Kenya who have been killed, hurt and displaced.
In the meantime the Mungiki are forcibly recruiting Kikuyus to fight.
Things are bad.
Monday, 28 January 2008
Everyone that I spoke to in Kenya yesterday was very scared, and at several points in our conversations, I was asked to pray for friends and family. I am praying so hard, as I know most people out there are, that something shifts. I feel very uneasy.
I took the peace that I have valued in Kenya for granted. This whole situation makes it clear to me that nothing is permanent. I think our lives are so fragile, and the escalation of events these past weeks, has shown me that noone is in control.
Things have spiralled, and have formed a life of their own. I am holding on to the fact that the crisis that Kenya is in at the moment, is because of a stolen election, and the opposition maintains that the disputed elections led to the ongoing violence.
People have taken the law into their own hands, and innocent civilians have suffered as a result, and continue to suffer. Some people thought that the peaceful protests were the only reason why people were dying, well in Naivasha and Nakuru,
Mungiki were on the loose, with revenge killings.
Protection is the governments responsibility, and at the moment, it seems incapable and unwilling to protect citizens and their property from militia attacks.
I feel low, and realise that I have no power to effect any change. Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki need to make some hard choices for the sake of peace.
The press despair as the Kenyan crisis continues.
I wonder what the further cost to some Kenyan people will be if ,and when those choices are made?
Can the underlying issues be tackled so that there is an equitable distribution of resources for all Kenyans?
I feel like I am clutching at straws.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
I think it is sad when some of the local media are conspiring with the police, and are keeping a lid on what is really happening.
It will take more than a handshake to heal the old, open wounds.
Related articles:Cargo airlines shun Eldoret.
Uganda do we share something with the Kikuyu
Related articles: Kikuyu catholic priest killed as he pleas for mercy with Kikuyu mobs
Thousands flee as violence spreads to Naivasha
This video is old, but I have a sense that Martin Ngatia's views have not changed at all. I felt sad when he said that Kenyans only enjoy democracy outside Kenya, and have not been liberated yet.
Does anyone know whether he has any new videos since the election results were announced?
Something else from Martin Ngatia here on why Raila is fit to lead Kenya. I enjoyed this video more.His predictions, in this video came true. Martin Ngatia loves Kenya, really and truly.
Related article:Black Sunday
Saturday, 26 January 2008
The registers, ballot papers and ballot boxes were all under the control of the Government and ECK.
The tallying mechanisms at polling stations, constituency tallying centres and KICC were under the control of the Electoral Commission.
In fact, ODM was so locked out that it was not even able to protect its own victory from being stolen in front of its very eyes, and in front of the eyes of the world.
How then is ODM supposed to have penetrated this system in order to introduce rigging?
These matters were carefully explained to the US envoy, Dr Jendayi Frazer, by Hon Raila Odinga himself.
It is therefore surprising to see Mr Ranneberger raising them again.
If the ambassador has “ample evidence” of ODM rigging, it would be interesting if he could produce it.
Friday, 25 January 2008
What I find unsettling is that all the acts of post election violence could be perceived by some Kenyans as the norm.
In cases where the violence has not been challenged, what message does that give to the rest of the population?
The mediation efforts so far have failed to stem the violence.
Raila Odinga has ruled out taking the role of Prime Minister, as a solution to this crisis, and has said there are only three acceptable options.
The deep rooted ethnic tensions in Kenya should be a warning to other nations. We cannot wish ethnicity away, but can aim to find solutions to the issues.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
I have thought a lot since December 30th, and have wondered whether life under Moi or Kenyatta were better, in comparison to Mwai Kibaki. The howling for democracy was not heard by some of the Kenyan people, and I feel that needs to be honoured, if we are to address the underlying issues. I have no idea how we can right the wrongs as so much has happened, but I hope that there can be some form of reconciliation.
It is the cost of genocide that worries me in this situation. This crisis has opened up old wounds that need to be healed, if that is possible.
Related article:How as Kenyans do we interpret sovereignty?
Is it retreating since it barely advanced to begin with?
Is Kenya one of the pretend democracies?
The full article Tribal tension in Kenya and the delusion of African democracy by Stanley Kurtz.
Kibaki and Raila held talks today. I wonder what the outcomes of these talks will be, and am struggling to remain positive about them.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
I am shocked, and I know I should not be.
It is so sad that Kenyans in a funeral procession are tear gased by the police.
I feel that this will just make things worse.
Are some Kenyans being denied the right to mourn in a way that suits them?
I feels like there is a constant need by the security forces to use their powers inappropriately.
Are some Kenyan people expected to internalise their rage indefinitely?
The powers that be have a problem with people speaking out, marching peacefully, and now funeral processions.
I feel very sad about this.
Talks with Kofi Annan will begin today.
I hope and pray that a solution can be found. I wonder what agreement can be made that will suit both parties.
Some interesting points on how vernacular radio stations in Kenya have contributed to spreading hate. I don't see how anyone can restrict what a caller says when they phone in.
How can you predict what a caller will say on a live show?
The civil strife that has engulfed Kenya is a deeply rooted desire by Kenyans of all tribal shades to finally have a respected say on who leads them.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Some western countries are accused by the government for causing the post election violence, by stating the election was flawed, in media adverts headed by the office of Public communications headed by Dr Alfred Mutua.
I think the subtext here from Dr Mutua, is that noone in Kenya is allowed to speak the truth. The Kenyan people, and outsiders are supposed to collude with daylight robbery. The government has chosen to take no responsibility whatsoever for this crisis.
Diplomats have embarassing moments with the government before Annan arrives.
Some interesting points about the peacemaker from the West in Kenya today, Yoweri Museveni.
In his response to a caller on Capital gang radio show in Uganda, and his use of military force, Yoweri Museveni responded that he was not a pacifist. His last two elections were surrounded by controversy, and he is one of the few presidents who congratulated Kibaki'
He is not a pacifist, but is a peacemaker?
Can Museveni be neutral?
I wonder whether the government will say that the mediators have come to Kenya for tea as they did before.
Others who have adopted this line in the past include Karua and Mutua, who went to the extent of saying Ghanaian President John Kufuor jetted in "to have tea" with Kibaki, his longtime friend.
This is a press release of the Kenya presidential elections violence situation report 17.
Edit -Related articles
Why mediated talks usually end up in a stalemate.
Raila urges supporters to press on for justice.
No retreat says ODM at service.
Monday, 21 January 2008
The small rebellion is symptomatic of rifts within Kenya's police force over harsh tactics ordered to suppress opposition protests, some officers say — a new fracture in ethnic and political conflicts tearing at the country since a disputed presidential election .
Several police officers sought out The Associated Press to express concern over the tough measures they have been ordered to use against opposition supporters protesting what they say was President Mwai Kibaki's theft of the Dec. 27 ballot.
Two officers involved in a raid on a Nairobi slum said they had refused to shoot to kill and fired their guns into the air instead.
Officers said some policemen had threatened colleagues with fisticuffs and even death in disputes over tactics. All the officers spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
The divisions further weaken a force already undermined by low pay — a recruit's monthly salary is $154 and a mid-ranking officer makes $240 — and a reputation for corruption.
One officer said tensions are so high there could be a police strike.
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe denied there are any splits within the force and charged that officers may have been bribed by the opposition to fabricate testimony.
"There are no divisions in the police force as of now," he said.
Kiraithe also said no commander had issued shoot-to-kill orders, insisting that officers are being told to use restraint.
Kenya's police initially denied killing any protesters, but last week acknowledged officers had been responsible for some deaths and put the number at 82. Rights activists said the number was much higher.
"You can see how our bodies are lying there dead because they were killed by ruthless police," Odinga said.
At least 53 people have been killed in Kisumu. Hospital records indicate 44 of them died from bullets. Guns have been used primarily, if not exclusively, by police in the upheaval since the election, while rioters have often used machetes and bows and arrows.
Kiraithe also denied police officers would deliberately destroy property.
"There are no circumstances whatsoever when a police officer can set fire to a building. It is false," he said.
Two officers, however, said that is exactly what happened.
They said that last week, after a train was looted as it rolled through Nairobi's Kibera slum on the last of three days of opposition protests, they were given orders to enter homes there, beat any men they found and destroy property in the homes.
"Spare a woman and a child, but everything else was to be vandalized. Any man found in his house was to be dealt with — beaten up," one of the officers said.
He and a second officer involved in the raid said their colleagues reluctantly searched houses but refused to beat people or destroy property, because many of the officers were Luo, the same ethnic group as the householders. They said the commander was from the Meru tribe, considered an ally of the Kikuyu.
On Friday, another police patrol in Kibera fired from a train, and six people died, including a 15-year-old girl.
Later Friday, the two officers said, they were told they would be returning to Kibera that night and a senior officer told them they were taking gasoline along. Houses would be burned to teach the slum dwellers a lesson, the two said.
In response, junior officers hid 15 cans of water in the three trucks that transported them, the two officers said. Some also tipped off relatives in the area about the raid, and the area was deserted when they arrived, the officers said.
The men said their senior officer set fire to shanties in three different locations and left a group to guard each. When he left, the officers doused the fires, the two said.
Two residents, Beatrice Michael and George Okumu, corroborated parts of the officers' story. Michael said she passed three truckloads of police while taking her daughter to a hospital after she was hit by a stray bullet. Okumu said residents were tipped off their homes would be burned and left the area Friday night.
The two officers said objections to such harsh tactics had been intensified by the ethnic splits plaguing Kenya. Some Luo officers have been transferred from their usual patrol areas, they said.
An officer at the Criminal Investigation Department, where the two senior officers are both Kikuyu, said he knew of at least 10 non-Kikuyu officers who had been asked to give up their sidearms. No reason was given, he said.
"If they see two or three people (police) who are not Kikuyu discussing politics, they become suspicious," the officer said.
Kiraithe, the police spokesman, said he was unaware of any such incidents.
The Muslim officer in Nairobi said he had been ready to fight some colleagues when they suggested tear-gassing Nairobi's main mosque during a small demonstration Friday.
There was outrage when police in the coastal city of Mombasa fired tear gas outside the main mosque at unarmed protesters who were preparing to march after Friday prayers.
The officer said he threw away his tear gas without using it. He added that although most of those disobeying orders were non-Kikuyus, there were also some Kikuyu officers unhappy with the situation.
Many of his Muslim colleagues, he said, were concerned they could be transferred or fired because of the perception that Muslim communities support the opposition.
"There are people who say they are ready to join Raila's force," the Muslim officer said. "Senior officers are also divided ... Some guys are saying, 'Let me see anyone shooting a civilian, I will kill you.'"
Sunday, 20 January 2008
This week I have watched enough police brutality in Kenya to last me a lifetime. It seems that some of the police force are trigger happy, and yet some of them are happy to stand by and watch while civilians in Mathare are hacked to death.
I am disgusted, and not shocked given all the videos, and articles that I have read this week.
Who can civilians trust to protect them, when some of the police have no regard for human life?
Captain Paddy Ankunda denies this, but the opposition say it is the Ugandan government that needs to clarify this, not the army. The opposition is concerned that the presence of these troops in Kenya poses a threat to Ugandans living in Kenya.
As I mentioned here sources on the ground continue to confirm that troops who cannot speak Swahili properly, and are speaking a funny language (not known to locals) are in several parts of Western Kenya. They are going into homes, flushing out the men, and assaulting them.
Sources on the ground say that some of the looters in Kisumu has been carried out by individuals who have been brought in from other areas, to cause destruction.
Roles have changed as Kenyans seek refuge in Uganda, and Kenyan refugees are lectured by their hosts for it.
Economic protests are to go ahead, and yet it seems Raila is not particularly happy about this.
Sources on the ground say that the economic protests are targeted towards individuals who support the Mungiki.
Businesses are feeling the impact of the crisis. I spoke to my folks today, and their business is suffering, along with everyone else.
The price of food and petrol has gone up.
Saturday, 19 January 2008
The Nation has a good article, what if Kenyan leaders practiced the faith they professed.
The article raises parallels with the way the looters behaved. I found it amusing.
The question is, can the thief(a Catholic), who stole the election give it back, and will he be haunted/cursed if he does not?
Samuel Kivuitu and Kalonzo Musyoka claim to be committed christians.Sadly, I believe these individuals do not have an understanding of what a conscience is, which raises questions about their understanding of their faiths.
Who the hell is giving these people spiritual direction?
Food for thought from Philip Ochieng State rules if people freely give consent.
The ODM chairman Mr Henry Kosgey said Thursday will be set aside for peace rallies across the country at venues to be announced later.
At the same time, the official announced that ODM would embark on an economic boycott of businesses run by directors of firms whom they accused of having supported and contributed to the controversial results.
Quotes from ODM mass action to continue by Odhiambo Orlale of the Nation
I hope that the security services are able to allow the bereaved to mourn in a way that is best for them.
I spoke to a Somali friend of mine today, and his first question to me was the usual "What is happening in your country?"
I wish I knew how to answer that question without ranting, but I am not quite there yet. One thing he said to me which calmed me down, was sometimes in life to get what you want, you have to make sacrifices. The fight for democracy has never been an easy ride. The rational part of my brain, knows that, but there is another part of me, that struggles with what I watch, read and hear on a daily basis.
This is Muciimi Mbatia's take on ODM being full of image, and nothing more.
Antony Otieno has a thought provoking article on elusive truths that undermine a constructive political discourse by Kenyans. I agree with his point that part of what we have witnessed since the election results were announced is a cry for democracy and justice. Something that he mentioned in his article that I was not aware of, and which he points out is that
" Thousands of Kenyans are trapped at Tigoni police station in Limuru, but no one speaks about them, because of their backgrounds, which brings up questions regarding what standards are used to determine a victim of the current violence and who qualifies for state assistance and relief services"
Quote from Kenya police kill eight as street protests end by Xan Rice for the Guardian newspaper.
A statement signed by nine western countries including Britain, expressed their concern about the deteriorating human rights situation, since the elections.
Sadly, I doubt that this will have any effect whatsoever, the people responsible for issuing these shoot to kill commands, will continue to do what they want, when they want. Their behaviour is unjustifiable, and unacceptable.
The illegitimate government continues to diminish the rights of the Kenyan people.
Sources on the ground say most of the killing is being carried out by the administration police. There are some members of the forces that are not happy with these killings.
Some Kenyans continue to die like flies in Kibera, Mathare, Rift Valley,Eldoret and Kisumu. We know that not all the deaths are reported, as there are curbs on what the media has access to, which is disturbing.
Kenya bleeds and innocent victims continue to be hit by stray bullets.
An example of the shoot to kill of unarmed civilians.
Some parts of the government continue to believe that Kenya is okay, and choose to remain out of touch with reality, while a cracked nation holds its breath.
Martin Shikuku has been realeased.
Friday, 18 January 2008
Martin Shikuku was arrested, as the government thought that he was going to organise a rally in Uhuru Park. I am so angry at the way this illegitimate government is dealing with things.
Today was the third planned day of peaceful rallies. Some ODM members were planning to go and march, after Friday prayers at the mosque.The security forces had trailed them to the mosque, and trailed them when they left the mosque. Martin Shikuku was arrested for breaching the peace, and inciting people to go and march. At the moment noone knows where he has been taken by the security services.
When the news broke out, some Kenyans started to leave town; as sources on the ground said some PNU supporters were regrouping in River road, and ODM supporters were also regrouping.
Human rights protesters had congregated outside Kencom house, but were teargassed by the police, and as is the norm for the cops, live shots were fired.
To see how far the security services are going, they teargassed Moi teaching and referral hospital in Eldoret yesterday, claiming that protesters were hiding in there. These officers are no different to the man who killed people in the church in Eldoret, and claimed he attacked the victims, as it was a cave, not a church, because they were hiding in it.
In the meantime two German and one Dutch journalist have been arrested today in Kenya on suspicion of terrorism.
Is it a coincidence that one of the journalists had been working on a documentary on Raila Odinga, and was arrested?
Kenyans in Kibera and Mathare continue to suffer. I saw a man on the news yesterday telling a reporter that Kenyans in Kibera were being molested by guns which were bought with their taxes. He has a point.
There are roadblocks on the road from Nairobi to Busia. Trailers and cars have had their car keys snatched from youths, who ran into the bushes with them. Those affected are asking for security, so they can move.
People in Western province are having to queue outside shops at 4am in the morning, as most shops now are closing at midday, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to buy food.
In the meantime Mwai Kibaki says the country is alright and Kazi iendelee.
Veteran politician, Mr Martin Shikuku and an unidentified ODM protester, were arrested as groups engaged in a cat-and-mouse chase with police on Friday afternoon.
Trouble started at about 1.30pm when Muslim faithful tried to hold a procession outside Jamia Mosque after the afternoon prayers.
Earlier, the Jamia Mosque committee issued a statement criticising the police for surrounding the mosque as worshippers prepared to pray.
"This is not a police state. We cannot live in fear," said the Imam.
Quotes from Four shot dead as protestors defy police by the East African Standard
Thursday, 17 January 2008
This is the dilemma for Kenya's donors. Some interesting points in the article about the stand that Colin Bruce has taken on the elections, accepting Kibaki's win, and how EU donors depend on the World Bank for guidance. The person giving guidance, sympathises with the illegitimate government.
I wonder what hope we have, but then it seems that donor outrage led to Uganda, Nigeria and Ethiopia cooperating when they were subject to these measures.
I feel sad, and uncomfortable that the Kenyan police chief in Kisumu admitted that she ordered her officers to fire on a rioting crowd.
Human rights workers say Kisumu suffered the worst police brutality. A witness says that the police are shooting opposition protesters indiscriminately.
Why are the Kenyan people not allowed to protest peacefully?
I hope that civil disobedience is considered, as then it seems that less people will lose their lives.
The opposition have called for a coalition government to end the political crisis.
The solution may be in a new constitution.
Kenya police caught on tape shooting kids.
This is unacceptable. Who is issuing orders that kids need to be killed?
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
He adds: "This is true of African leaders. Indeed, this is even the highest or strongest motivation need to the extent that it is capable of making the position occupants attempt possible elimination of potential contestants to such thrones."
In the context of the situation in Kenya, President Kibaki has struggled hard since Daniel Arap Moi dumped him as Vice-President and Minister of Finance following the equally farcical elections of September 1988. His fortunes changed in 2002 when, ironically, his alliance with Raila Odinga - under the post-Cold War international re-alignments that saw the West turn its back on African leaders like Moi - brought him back to the centre of Kenyan politics. Getting overwhelmingly elected as president was, indeed, Kibaki's self-actualisation.
He needs no job today. He is wealthy and at 76, his sun is about to set. Nevertheless, going by Prof. Maicibi's modified version of Maslow's theory, Kibaki still has an unsatisfied need: to consolidate all that he has struggled hard to attain.
This consolidation need, according to Prof. Maicibi, explains "the sit-tight" behaviour of most of our leaders. So maybe we should not view Kibaki as an evil man who has no shame even when his rush to be sworn in for a second term of office has led to such wanton destruction of life and property in Kenya and economic hardships in our own country. Perhaps we should try to see him as a man who aspires to attain the very highest of human needs.
Quotes from what drives Kibaki to cling to Power by Okadan Okwap.
My interpretation of Mwai Kibaki's behaviour to date, differs from that of the writer of the article. I have a positive view of human nature in general, and believe that in this situation Mwai Kibaki was doing the best that he could do. The best that he could do for himself.
Most of us know that his actions were not the best for Kenya. I struggle with the fact that if this is the best that he can do, I definitely do not want to be around when he is at his worst.
Somewhere on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there is , a level for self esteem. This involves respecting others. This is where I feel that Mwai Kibaki has blanked out.
To get to a state of self actualisation, he would need an acceptance of facts, according to Maslow. It seems that Mwai Kibaki feels that he has been accepted, and gained recognition from a segment of the Kenyan population, so Kazi iendelee(the dreaded word).
I have a hunch that his rigging of the election, he adds to one of his greatest achievments. However,it is his understanding of morality that I have difficulty with.
The question is how much of his behaviour is conscious, and how does this affect his thinking at 76?
In the end they swore allegiance, but there were variations on what or who they swore allegiance to. Raila Odinga swore allegiance to the country of Kenya, and Najib Balala swore his allegiance to the presidency, rather than the president.
PNU Mps, arrived in parliament pretty early, as they were aware that ODM were going to sit on the government side, and did not want this to happen.
There were a number of events that took place that broke tradition, which put PNU backs up.
- Najib Balala announced to his fellow ODM members when Raila walked into the house "I give you the President" to which ODM members stood up, and applauded, when Raila Odinga entered the house, they remained seated when Mwai Kibaki entered.
- Some ODM members refused to swear allegiance to the president initially, and then either chose not to use the word president, or included something else in the oath, as I have pointed out above.
- ODM members were not voting by secret ballot, and showed their colleagues how they voted. The thinking behind this, was that they had voted secretly during the election, and their votes had been stolen, which was pointed out by William Ruto.
- Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki did not acknowledge each other during the session.
I watched Martha Karua on some of the video clips, and it was clear to me, that her anger levels were high. It seems that PNU were belittled in parliament yesterday.
Considering what ODM have gone through, yesterday gave some Kenyans light relief. I hope that violence is reduced, as a result of yesterday's events.
ODM have strength in numbers, and have an opportunity to pass laws, which will give some Kenyans a chance to see what they are made of.
I have a hunch that Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki is not in for an easy ride, having watched events in Parliament yesterday.
Police have clashed with protesters today.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
It looks like ODM were not prepared to go for secret ballot, and were displaying to their colleagues, their preferred choice, as they want to be transparent. This caused some considerable tension in the house.
Update:Kenneth Marende won the third round with 105 votes, while Ole Kaparo won 101 votes. Farah Malim is the deputy speaker, also an ODM party member.
I read the statement, and give this gentleman maximum respect, as I do to John Githongo.
The truth needs to be known in Kenya today.
He denied the ODM is legitimizing President Kibaki’s presidency by participating in Tuesday’s opening session of parliament session, which would be presided over by President Kibaki.
“In no way will we submit to the presidency of Mr. Kibaki because he was not elected. The fact that he continues to occupy State House and to use public resources does not in any way give him credit or legitimize his stolen election. Our move to parliament is basically to restate our position as ODM that indeed we won the elections. We are confident that today we are going to elect and ODM speaker in the name of Kenneth Merende and subsequently, we will continue to conduct the business of parliament as government, and as a party that won the majority seats in parliament and as a party that has the control of the instruments of the legislature,” he said.
Ruto said the opposition party would administer parliament as if the ODM was in power.
“We will manage parliament as though we were government; we will set the agenda for parliament, we will make sure that once we elect a speaker we have an agenda which we promised the people of Kenya. We will run with that agenda and prioritize on the bills to be passed so that we can implement the ODM agenda. Meanwhile, we will confront Mr. Kibaki and his group to see sense and submit to the will of the people of Kenya by either agreeing to a re-run which we are ready or getting out so that we can swear in the person who won the election as president.
Some political observers are criticizing the opposition for participating in the opening session parliament. They say by participation in ceremony, the party would be legitimizing what it has already described as illegitimate.
Quotes from Kenya’s Opposition to Participate in Parliament’s Opening Despite Rejection of Kibaki Presidency by Peter Clottey of Voice of America.
Central Nairobi was under lockdown just before parliament opened.
My understanding is that MPs have to swear allegiance to the President, when they are sworn in.
How are ODM MP's going to swear in, when their view is that the President, is not the President?
Update: There is live coverage of Parliament opening on KTN, and this news blog has some updates.
Monday, 14 January 2008
If Kofi Annan is coming, he is not coming at our invitation," Mr Michuki said, French news agency AFP reported.
"We won the elections so we do not see the point for anyone coming to mediate power-sharing," he said.
An unnamed government spokesman told another news agency, Reuters, that Mr Kibaki's administration had not asked anyone to mediate its affairs.
He said Kenya, as a sovereign state, should be "treated with the same respect shown to other stable democracies".
Quotes from Kenya rulers reject outside help
Well God will decide what happens next then. My view is that God helps those who help themselves.
When was Kenya democratic, can someone remind me please?
Raila Odinga plans to sit on the government side in parliament on Tuesday, as ODM are the majority party. I have a hunch that the temperatures in there on Tuesday will be high.
Will the press have access to what goes on in there on Tuesday?
A thought provoking article about the violence in Kenya at the moment, it may be awful, but it is not senseless savagery. It is a communication of last resort.
Then we have the Kenya police in a shoot to kill row and some of the police saying they are not happy with what they are being asked to do. My understanding is the shoot to kill policy is restricted to certain parts of Kenya.
Some lessons that we need to learn for our country, we need to look beyond the personalities in this crisis.
What will this week have in store for us?
News just in , the local TV stations in Kenya will not be able to cover the opening of parliament tomorrow.
Related articles for this post: Kenyan police condemned for shoot to kill policy.
Kenya crisis: Defining moment for Africa.
Political impasse will continue in the absence of dialogue.
Sunday, 13 January 2008
She started off by saying that mysterious army people were going into people's homes in Nyanza province, and they spoke a funny language,(ie. language that the local people are not familiar with) that adds some weight to the rumour about Ugandan troops in Nyanza. We have relatives there, who had passed on this information.
She was concerned about one of my aunts who runs a matatu business in Kisii and Kisumu, and her safety. My aunt is not at home at the moment, and is bent on going back. We have concerns about her being ambushed by the Mungiki on her way back to Western province. My aunt will make her own decisions, but in this current climate, I do not feel it is safe for her. Her cars could be stoned, burned, and her life could be threatened too. So in short my mother said she is going back for nothing. Whether my aunt will listen to our views is another story.
One of mum's staff had been stranded in Kakamega, since the 30th December, and was only able to return to Nairobi safely on Friday.
Mum has a small business, and she said things have come to a standstill. People are living from hand to mouth. Workers have no money. She has just been presented with a rent increase. Food prices have gone up because of the situation. Money is not coming in, and yet she has to eat, buy petrol and pay salaries. She said most small businesses were in the same position, she was not alone.
She feels that if things go on in this way, that a lot of small jua kali businesses will be wiped out. People will be out of work.
Then what will people do?
Will crime increase as a result of this situation?
I wish I had the answers to these questions, and the only thing that I was able to say to mum, was that we should continue to pray. She claimed that most Kenyans were praying, even the people who got us into this situation in the first place, which she felt was hypocritical.
She also raised her concerns about the role of the Catholic church in Kenya in this situation, and the fact that they have made it clear that they support the government. She was disgusted that church leaders were not able to be honest peace brokers. Her view is that christians should not take sides.
She felt that the only businesses that were benefiting from this situation, were banks, mobile phone companies, and supermarkets. She said that most Kenyans were withdrawing what they could from the banks. The supermarket shelves were cleared by those who had money.
What happens to Kenyans who are not able to stock up, and live from hand to mouth?
What happens to Kenyans who do not have fridges?
Mum loves her samaki, in fact she loves it so much she eats it every day. Well, there isn't any samaki getting to Nairobi, since this crisis started. The only samaki that is coming in, is from Mombasa, and she says it tastes different, and is expensive, and people don't like it.
The sukumuwiki(green leafy vegetable) that is available is not green but yellow.
Her point was with food, you take it or leave it, it is up to you. There is no fresh food about.
She is waiting for parliament to convene on Tuesday, and doesn't feel that it will be safe to be in town, when Parliament starts.She feels that Kibaki will face a tough fight in Parliament. She has advised her staff that they will be working half day, but they are complaining that they have not made money, and need to earn money. She has told them that they can stay, however they do so at their own risk. Those who want to go home can, and those who choose to stay can.
I told her to tell her staff about Ushahidi, and that if they witnessed any violence, they could text in. She wondered what Ushahidi would do with the information. I need to go back to their site, so that I can report back.
We ended the conversation with her feeling depressed and saying this situation is not finished and it is not going to finish.
Feel free to send in your own accounts of what is happening for your families back home, either via comments, or email.
Saturday, 12 January 2008
You would therefore think that people should speak in unison against president Kibaki to the effect that he made himself susceptible to accusations of electoral malpractice and should therefore own up to pave way for a cleaner process.
Instead people are telling Raila to accept the position of opposition leader purportedly for the sake of peace! But why should it be Raila to sacrifice for the sake of peace and not President Kibaki? Just to rephrase the headline of Wanyeki Muthoni's article Can there be peace without justice? And how long can this peace last? (The East African, January 7-13).
Raila and Kibaki may be the same considering that they belong to the same old guards in the Kenyan political landscape, but people's wishes ought to be respected or else sitting presidents should stop wasting time and resources conducting elections if they are not willing to accept defeat and retire honourably.
Quotes from punishing the victim and protecting the bully by Margaret Wokuri.
I feel the article has parallels with Steve Karpman's drama triangle.
He says these roles operate to keep people in the illusions of power, and will go on as long as someone is willing to be victimised.
It is very clear to some Kenyans who the bully is in this crisis, but it does not look like someone is willing to be victimised at the moment.
Update:Related article Lessons from the election debacle.
Update two Related article : Stubborn Kibaki strides on regardless.
Raila said Ugandan president Museveni has called him thrice denying there were Ugandan soldiers in Kenya. "Museveni was at pains to explain that his soldiers are not here. He asked me to clarify the issue to the Kenyan people."
Even as Museveni denied this, the rumour of Ugandan soldiers killing civilians in western Kenya remained strong
Quotes from A nation at crossroads by Ben Agina and Museme Machuka of the East African Standard.
I read this article this afternoon and it seems that there still remains anti Ugandan feelings in Kisumu.
What I find interesting is that Shabir Shakeel, MP and former mayor of Kisumu confirms the rumour but says he does not believe they were Ugandan soldiers. However the victims who were wounded by their bullets are saying something else.
The plot thickens.
Update 13/01Related article: Alarm over alleged presence of Ugandan troops.
"Both should acknowledge serious irregularities in the vote tallying which made it impossible to determine with certainty the final result," she added.
She also called for the restoration of media freedom and freedom of peaceful assembly and said the only way forward was through equitable power-sharing, an end to violence, reconciliation, and agreement on electoral reform.
"In the meantime, the United States cannot conduct business as usual in Kenya," she warned.
Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has called for three days of mass rallies across the country beginning Wednesday -- a move that has raised concerns of fresh clashes.
The planned protests have been banned by Kenyan police, citing fears that they would attract criminal elements.
The ODM countered on Saturday, saying that the real threat came from organised gangs belonging to Kibaki's Kikuyu trice.
The gangs intend to "wreak havoc on ODM supporters as a way to terrify them from participating in rallies," party spokesman Salim Lone told AFP.
Frazer's appeal for dialogue echoed that of UN Secretary general Ban Ki-moon who warned Kibaki and Odinga on Friday that the absence of a negotiated solution would be disastrous.
"The potential for further bloodshed remains high unless the political crisis is quickly resolved," Ban said in a statement.
The full article US pushes Kenya factions to admit vote flaws
We wait and see what happens, and whether the US not conducting business as usual with Kenya will have an impact on the situation.
Friday, 11 January 2008
This man has no idea of what walking the talk is.
Pretty shameless, if you ask me. I wonder what goes through his mind when he reads about the scathing remarks he made about Mwai Kibaki, during the election campaign who appointed him as Vice President.
Shamelessness seems to be the norm with these guys. When I come across a politician who has integrity, I don't trust them.
Maybe a politician who has integrity is an oxymoron.
I wonder how many Kenyans out there are not cynical about our politicians.
This is the irony of the Kilonzo Kibaki relationship.
Update 12/01 related article: Kilonzo's new job may be a poisoned chalice.
Update 14/01 related article : Is Dr Mutua a man in denial.
It is living with the constant uncertainty, aware that more violence, and deaths are on the horizon at any time, that is unsettling.Watching my country plunge into an abyss, day by day.
I continue to pray, like I have never prayed before that God will have some mercy on Kenya.
Today all eyes are on the clergy but the question is can they be trusted by the Kenyan people to be honest peace brokers, because of the partisan role they played before the elections.
A strong point that the youth coordinator at St Andrews makes is
In the same way you accept the win, you must also accept all legitimate... and I underline 'legitimate' claims of falsehood attached to the win... if you hold the win on one hand, you must hold its falsehood on the other - the two - the win and the falsehood-must stand publicly together in tension."
He went on: "And even as we hold the two realities in tension, we must deal with another upsetting fact: That God is truth... and because He is truth, He does not need to lie for his mission to pass. This tells us... that as long as there was falsehood and illegal manipulation, then the winners must be careful and walk in humility... for they do have matters to repent about."
CLERGYMEN HAVE THE CHALLENGE of standing up for truth, and telling His Excellency that there are question marks about his presidency. They should, in the words of Mr Buri, muster the courage to tell the President that the "Government that God allows to reign over this land, must find part of its legitimacy in repentance."
In the meantime Raila Odinga has said he will use other means to stop Kibaki returning Kenya to the era of dictatorship.
Protests are to resume, as the people of Kenya voted for change, and Raila Odinga is keeping the heat on the culprits.
It does not look good people.
Update Related Article: We will kill each other as long as Big Man Syndrome remains.
Update two: The deal that Kibaki rejected.
Thursday, 10 January 2008
It took me back to something that I had read years ago, Black rage by Grier and Cobbs.
Since the announcement of the election results I am very aware of my tribe. I am wary of being in certain parts of Kenya now, given what has transpired. The comfort or ease that I had before, has disappeared for the moment. I grew up, have friends and went to school with Kenyans from every tribe. There is a lot of intermarriage in my family across tribal lines.
I was aware of the tensions, but not in the way that I am now. I feel that there is a parallel between what Grier and Cobbs are saying and the situation in Kenya today. For some people who are feeling paranoid, I see their response as adaptive, and not unhealthy in the current climate.
We are all Kenyans but I feel that it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the differences between us.
Update related article :Tribal clashes are politicians fault.
Police fired teargas today at dozens of women in Nairobi who were demonstrating against the contested re-election of president Kwai Kibaki after he again rejected calls for a recount.
Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, an umbrella group for civil rights campaigns including the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights and the Kenyan Law Society, presented police with documents demanding the prosecution of all 22 members of the electoral commission.
Shailja Patel, one of the group's leaders said: "The electoral process is so seriously flawed that, until that is redressed, and until we have truth and justice about the election, we are not going to have a viable society in Kenya."
Yesterday Kibaki travelled to Burnt Forest in western Kenya, his first visit to an area hit by post-election violence.
He defiantly urged people not to dwell on the elections.
"[The vote] is finished and anybody who thinks they can turn it around should know that it's not possible and it will never be possible," he said.
He also again insisted that the election can only be overturned by the courts, which are packed with his appointees.
The full article Kenyan police launch teargas attack on female demonstrators by Matthew Weaver of the Guardian Newspaper.
The Kibaki response to an arsonist attack when he is addressing a peace meeting.
He seems unable to acknowledge that the some Kenyan people have lost trust in the system.
Ory Okolloh of Kenyan Pundit has set up Ushahidi.com to document incidents of violence.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
I wish there were more Kenyans like yourself who were willing to stand up and be counted.
I also heard that the numbers of people joining the Mungiki has increased tremendously since the elections were announced.
Could you please smell the kahawa(coffee)?
I was puzzled by your announcement of the first half of the cabinet yesterday. I was not suprised, as to date your behaviour has been consistent.
Do you have any idea how your actions are being interpreted by some Kenyan people?
I interpreted your announcement yesterday, as total disregard for the Kenyan people. I was of the understanding that you were prepared for peace talks on Friday. Your announcement yesterday has spoilt the reconciliation bid.
I have a problem with your mantra kazi iendelea(work must go on). Most Kenyans have been traumatised, and I feel that your announcement yesterday, demonstrates to me that you do not give a monkey's about the Kenyan people.
Do you not realise that in your role as president, you are required to put your own needs aside, and the needs of the national interest first?
Mwai Kibaki, I am sorry to tell you, this is not all about you. You have a duty of care to the Kenyan people.
I understand that the honour of your whole family may depend on you staying in power. However, I feel that line of thinking is now out of date. The lives of the Kenyan people are at stake. I have heard that you are only concerned about your own people. Whether oaths were taken in Mt Kenya or not is irrelevant.
Are you aware of how many Kikuyu people have died in the past week?
These people are innocent victims, who have had these atrocities inflicted on them, because you decide that you cannot and will not leave state house.
I feel that you are attempting to block out part of what the Kenyan people are saying in the hope that things will be alright.
Could you please tell me what your understanding of alright is?
My feeling is that the Kenyan people are feeling betrayed and robbed, and have great difficulty trusting you. I believe your role is to win back the trust of your voters. By standing defiant you have no way of achieving this, in my view.
I acknowledge that you are in charge right now, and have chosen to rule Kenya by any means necessary. However, I feel that it is not useful to impose a knee- jerk set of rules, with the state that our country is in. I appreciate that this may be the Kibaki way of doing things, but I believe that it is detrimental for the Kenyan people. The past week illustrates the results of your actions.
Please take a few minutes to look at the powerful images on Joseph Karoki's blog, which tell the story.
I believe that you need to ask yourself whether you are able to have a collaborative relationship with the Kenyan people?
My understanding is that collaborative relationships are characterised by commitment, and cooperation.
Are your intentions to continue to rape the Kenyan people in order to maintain power?
Some Kenyan people are feeling psychologically, and physically traumatised by the events of last week.
Judith Lewis Herman says that
in rape, the purpose of the attack is precisely to demonstrate contempt for the victim's autonomy and dignity.
A negative response to people who have been raped compounds the damage, and aggravates the traumatic syndrome.
I believe the riots and killings in Kenya in the past week, are the only way that some people can express their humiliated rage.
I feel it is essential that you acknowledge the reality of the Kenyan people, and take steps to change it, by taking action to foster recovery.
Can you stop causing more harm to the Kenyan people?
I ask that you reflect on whether you posess these qualities that are essential for leadership honesty, integrity, sincerity, respect, competence, and fairness.
Mwai Emilio Stanley Kibaki, in your role as president, (rigged), you have a duty of care to the Kenyan people.